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October 20, 2014

Creeptastic Reads: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Party Games

Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear's birthday party at his family's estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party—the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn't know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems… on Fear Island.R.L. Stine makes his triumphant return to Shadyside, a town of nightmares, shadows, and genuine terror, and to the bestselling series that began his career writing horror for the juvenile market, in the new Fear Street book Party Games.

I'll give you three reasons why I was anticipating this book:
1. It's R.L. Stine! Goosebumps were basically my childhood
2. It's a slasher mystery where the characters are stuck on an island, so of course it reminded me of one of my favorites, Ten by Gretchen McNeil
3. That cover is perfect for a creepy mystery

Sadly, Party Games didn't live up to my expectations. A bunch of teenagers getting picked off one by one by someone who is imitating party games? Yes, please. What I expected was lots of gore, twists, clues that would keep me guessing just enough to keep me up through the night, characters that I was rooting for, and characters that I hated/suspected. That's what I want out of a slasher mystery. That is not what we get in Party Games.

Maybe R.L. Stine's writing was always as cheesy as it was in this book and I just didn't notice it before, because to be honest it was pretty unbearable. I read this in a day only so that the torture would end. The sentences were either awkward, or too short. Also, R.L. Stine was constantly repeating things every few sentences the way you'd repeat things to younger children so that they understand. I don't know if he wrote this for a younger audience, but the writing didn't feel geared towards young adults.

Then there were the characters, which I could care less about. As a reader, I didn't feel attached to any of them and I was just waiting for them to get killed off. They weren't developed enough for me to care.

Also, the "twists" were underwhelming. They didn't make much sense to me, and although twists are supposed to be unexpected (that's what makes them fun), the twists in Party Games came out of NOWHERE. One of them was so predictable that I discarded it the moment I started the book, only to have it happen. I couldn't believe what I was reading. The twists completely changed the feel of the book and the story became something else entirely. I don't know if this makes much sense, but that's what I felt as the twists began unraveling. Another thing, there wasn't enough gore for me. I wanted action, but got hardly any and was highly disappointed in the death scenes.

I wouldn't suggest this to mystery fans like myself. Unless you're looking for something to take up time and not something of a higher quality. If you're looking for something around the same feel (but a million times better) I suggest Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

★ ★/5 stars

Creep Factor:
There were some spooky scenes, but nothing out of this world. You might be weirded out but I can guarantee this one won't keep you up at night double guessing any shadows.

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